Inflatable vs. sit on top

I decided I wanted a kayak, but I ruled out a sit in, for reasons I won’t go into here.
That leaves either an inflatable or a sit on top.
I went back and forth between the two and despite buying a cheap sit on top, the issue isn’t settled for me. The sit on top I bought is just to hold me over till I make a final decision and more boats are available.
As I see it, the biggest advantage of an inflatable is ease of transport and storage. They are capable of pretty serious white water, but I’m not going to be doing any of that.
I see the downsides as having to pump them up and deflate them and not being as fast or track as well as a hard sit on top.
I’m looking to carry several days worth of gear. That probably means a using a two person inflatable, but just a large sit on top.
I guess, if I’m looking at this right, it comes down to how important the ease of transport and storage are vs. on water performance.

I think you got it right.

The hard shell kayaks generally track so much better than an inflatable that most people find that if they can transport and store a hard shell, that is the better solution to go with.

That said, you do mention white water and say you won’t be doing advanced white water. If you will be doing anything above small ripples in the water, a boat made for that would be better. Boats made for white water don;t do well on flat water (whether hard shell or inflatable), so if you plan to be doing both, the usually solution is 2 boats.


The most I could see me doing is class II, and probably less than that.
I’ve been calling around this morning and people don’t even want to take special orders for boats.
Good thing I bought the Pelican because anything else is going to be months.
I may be totally insane, but a boat I keep looking at is Epic Kayaks V5 rotomolded surf ski.

I found some sit on top kayak sources.
Besides Dick’s, Sam’s Club has kayaks available. Other sites have one or two models.
The one company that doesn’t seem to have any trouble with production is Lifetime. You can order from this website with free shipping.
Sit-On-Top Kayaks from Lifetime
Looks like a lot of kayaks are either in stock or will be shortly.

Sounds like you should get a canoe

Maybe. I have three. Two tandems and a very long solo.
I need a solo boat, but the one I have isn’t appropriate for rivers. Well, maybe the Mississippi.
I’m either going to get another solo canoe or an open top kayak.

Pack canoe. Light and some are very manueverable. You sit down low aka kayak. Essentially they are deckless kayaks. Range from 9-30 lbs and 12-15 feet.

yup, sounds like you need [another, different] canoe.
With open top, I’m assuming you’re talking about a rec kayak. Some of them are fine in rivers and are fine if you’re OK with their limitations. Being small and light, portaging is easier. I just think for the same size and same generalized usage, you get more with a canoe. I don’t care for SOTs and if for some reason I would want something like that, I’d get an inflatable.

The boat I’m looking at is the pocket canyon or the vagabond by wenonah to fill the II and below river trips.

Now that I’m thinking more about a solo canoe, I’ve done some looking and, so far, the closest thing I’ve found, to what I’m not thinking about, is the Wenonah Wilderness in T-Formex.
I also like the Argossy.
There are several North Star boats I like, like the North Wind pack solo, but cost could rule them out.

While you are wandering in kayak land, look at the Epic V 7. Stable, fast, and won’t break most banks.

You’re gonna have to change your screen name now.